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This administration is determined to leave its mark on history by erasing all traces of any marks made in the past.
It has declared that its piddling economic progress - 6% but just in the 1st quarter, panning out at 4% or 5% at year end - compared to 8% growth at the end of GMA's term is a lot smaller but, say sycophants, more real even if both growth figures were tracked by the same agencies.
One lying financial analyst looking for special treatment chimed in with the thoroughly baseless speculation that only now, with this reform president, will the Philippines break out as an emerging nation by implementing reforms - all of which have to do with hunting down scapegoats for survey purposes and none of which have anything to do with what Ruchir Sharma says is essential: pulling down the top 10 biggest corporations in the country that own most of the economy. And yet the Philippines weathered, with barely a scratch, every major financial and economic crisis since the 1983 Mexican debt crisis, followed by the 1987 New York stock market crash, followed by the 1997 Asian financial crisis, and the Russian and Argentine debt crises.
The Philippines has the internationally acknowledged distinction of having emerged from the American-made 2007-2008 global financial fraud crisis as among the handful of best performing economies on the planet; the planet Earth that is, and not Mars where a roving robot is about to stumble on to it.
Now comes Tourism Secretary Jimenez, of plagiarized "it is more fun in the PH" fame. He announced - and this is a direct quote - that "the Philippines' image is not bad, it is zero, which is just as bad; no country image in place."
You want a country image? There's Libya, Syria, Sudan. Happy? But the Philippines has a firm and abiding image. There is the image of EDSA and Cory Aquino that is deeply etched in the annals of human greatness.
There is the image of one of the best performing economies to emerge unscathed from the global financial crisis of 2007-2008.
There is the reality of a global scale oligopoly that was created in just the past 9 years, with the fastest and biggest accumulation of the tightest concentration of wealth in Asian history; creating dollar billionaires by the scores and destroying old wealth as fast as it made new. The Lopezes lost Meralco that was for half a century dynastically theirs; earlier the Cojuangcos lost PLDT. Fifteen years ago nobody heard of the country’s richest families today.
With the new administration, the Philippines almost immediately acquired the worldwide and still abiding image of a tourist destination where you are killed by the dozens by the cop who hijacked your tour bus or by the cops trying to take it back from him or both.
Everywhere on this planet this story is known. In China and Hong Kong I say I am Japanese whenever this incident comes up in conversation.
Last week, Singapore officially announced that we have the enviable distinction of a media better at fiction than f*ck.
Last week, we were the only country on this planet to successfully criminalize the global campaign against the crime of human trafficking by being accused of misusing USAID funds for the fight. Yes, we did it.
What does Jimenez mean "no country image?" Every place I have traveled to, my country - not his - is better known for the friendliest most helpful people, for the safest streets where you can pass out drunk and wake up with both your kidneys still, with the most tourist fun for your money without or because there is no government help; unlike some major capitals I will not mention where every other tourist will be robbed of their passport and their wallet before they fly out without two euros they can rub together for warmth.
The Philippines shares with Japan and Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore, the honor of being the only places outside the United States where there are no crimes against tourists worth mentioning, Rico Puno's Luneta massacre notwithstanding. Hey, we're not perfect.
The problem with saying that everything about the Philippines was bad before is, first, that it is a complete lie.
Second, it insults the Filipino people who are deemed incapable of having gotten anything right until PNoy and his boys came along.
In fact, real data shows we have been doing well since 1984 when Marcos - yes, that asshole who caused it all - nonetheless reversed his bad policies; and 1986 when Cory swallowed her resentment and suppressed her radical cabinet's prejudices, and stabilized the economy by adopting wholesale the Marcos reforms. This was followed by FVR who foresaw the digital future of the world and therefore abolished the phone monopoly; and concluded with Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who had the uninspired and unimaginative idea of spending all our money to pay down all our debt so as to stabilize the economy in a world financial crisis, instead of taking the risk of pushing ahead with massive public sector investments though she got so much done in that department that the PNoy administration can take its blessed time resuming public sector investments.
To say that everything was bad and nothing good until the last two years is to say that everything will stay good and get better only on the basis of just two years; as opposed to 35 years of what is falsely alleged to have been an unrelieved catastrophic performance by every administration including Cory Aquino’s.
Why do we have to make ourselves look bad to appear good? Hindi ba cheap yan?
Jimenez's statement that the Philippines has a worse than bad image because it has no image at all is how he will claim any small improvement as an unparalleled, repeat, f*ck it, repeat "unparalleled" achievement in his f*cking watch. If you like that, you deserve it and screw you. Unbelievable.